“Birds of a feather flock together.” The old saying might not be so true; especially considering this 500 pound lion is best friends with a miniature dachshund dog.
Bonedigger is a 500-pound lion who looks far more ferocious than he actually is. The adorable beast was born with a metabolic bone disease that disabled the lion from an early age. Looking at the strong cat now, you would never know health problems have impacted the big beauty. Thanks to GW Exotic Animal Park located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, this lion got a second chance at living a good life. The park has also granted him the opportunity to make some great, and rather unlikely, friends.
Milo also calls the GW Exotic Animal Park home. The 11-pound dachshund can’t get enough of Bonedigger, and visa-versa. It’s not just Milo that Bonedigger spends his days playing with; in fact a whole trio of wiener dogs consider the lion their best friend. Bullet and Angel are the two other wiener dogs that stepped in alongside Milo to help look after Bonedigger when he was only a cub, the dogs sensed his disabilities and knew he needed their help.
Now that Bonedigger is all grown up, it’s apparent the 3 tiny dogs made a good decision–you can guess who would do the protecting now if push came to shove!
John Reinke is the park manager, granting him plenty of opportunities to watch the relationship form between Bonedigger the lion and his 3 dogs. Throughout the years the pack of unlikely buds never ceases to amaze and inspire him. He says that their friendship “…is the only of its kind in the world ever seen.”
Check out these amazing pals for yourself!
Before you take your dog to a local Zoo or animal reserve and try and force a friendship with the lions, beware that Bonedigger might not be so close with these dogs under normal circumstances. The 4 get along so well thanks to their early start at friendship. In fact, the park does not introduce Bonedigger to other dogs for fear that the only dogs he will accept are the ones he has known since he was cub.
If you hang out with the same person all of the time, you will naturally find your habits becoming more and more like theirs. The same can be said for Milo and Bonedigger. In fact, Milo even tries to imitate the way that Bonedigger communicates. Lions puff themselves up and let out an extremely loud growl you can hear from a mile away, while Milo can’t produce the same deafening sounds he gives it his best try.
The pack of unusual friends spend their time enjoying meals of raw meat, playing together, and cuddling side-by-side. They also like to include caretaker and park manager, 42-year old John Reinke, in on their adventures. After losing both of his legs in a bungee jumping accident, John understands how to overcome obstacles just like Bonedigger.
Speaking of obstacles, the terrible tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma on May 20th of this year, left the park badly damaged. Inspired by the spirit of the animals that live here, the park continues to make do with what they have, providing housing and shelter to a group of incredible animals. The park has even taken in more animals, granting a warm and loving home to animals that became homeless due to the storm, both wild and domestic. Thanks for all that you do GW Exotic Wild Animal Park!
See the massive lion loving on his tiny companions in this amazing video…
Image Credits: Huffington Post